- Allergy Relief: Soothing Swollen Eyes
- How Bad Can Swollen Eyes Get?
- Tips to Ease Swollen Eyes
- How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes
- How to Get Rid of Swollen & Puffy Eyes
- Why Are My Eyes Puffy?
- Who Gets Puffy Eyes?
- Which Symptoms Are Associated With Puffy Eyes?
- What Are The Treatments and Home Remedies for Puffy Eyes?
- When Should I Seek Medical Attention For My Puffy Eyes?
- How Can I Prevent My Eyes From Becoming Puffy?
- Talking to Your Eye Doctor
- How to get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles
- What causes puffy eyes and dark circles under eyes?
- Why do I have puffy eyes when I wake up?
- Do puffy eyes mean I have a medical condition?
- What can be done about puffy eyes and dark circles?
- Schedule an exam.
- Swollen Eyelids? Causes & How to Fix Them (Fast)
- What Causes Swollen Eyelids?
- The Difference Between Puffy and Swollen Eyelids
- Common Causes of Swollen Eyelids
- Less Common Medical Conditions Associated With Swollen Eyelids
- Get Help From Medical Professionals for Serious Issues With Swollen Eyelids
- Swollen Eyelid: Causes, Treatment, and More
- Eye – Allergy
- Is this your child’s symptom?
- When to Call for Eye – Allergy
- Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
- Care Advice for Eye Allergy
- Getting Relief for Puffy Eyes
- How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes From Allergies
- Mechanism of Swelling
- Stopping Exposure
- Surface Treatment
- Systemic Treatment
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Aloe Vera
- Eye Rollers
- Cold Treatments for Your Eyes
- Allergy Medication
- Professional Treatments
- Do’s and Don’ts for Puffy Eyes
- Safety Concerns
- Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles
- Why are my eyes puffy in the morning?
- Medical condition
- What can be done?
Allergy Relief: Soothing Swollen Eyes
How Bad Can Swollen Eyes Get?
Jacqueline Jones, 31, of Frankfort, Ky., knows what it feels like to have severely swollen eyes.
“Although the medications and shots have helped reduce my other symptoms, they did not do much good in treating my ‘allergy eyes,’” Jones says. “My eyes often become swollen, itchy, bloodshot, and watery. Not only is it an unpleasant feeling, it looks awful and I have had people ask me if I have been crying or if I was ill, because of how bad my eyes looked.”
Jones’s allergy symptoms also made her contact lenses blurry, interfering with her vision.
Tips to Ease Swollen Eyes
Remember, these are your eyes we’re talking about, so check with your doctor before you try any treatment.
Consider the following remedies:
- Wash your face. Washing your face is one of the first things you should do to combat itchy, swollen eyes, says Ogbogu. It can help wash away the allergens sticking to your skin and eyelashes.
- Rinse out the eyes. “Rinse out the eyes if you can with a little bit of water, and that’s usually helpful,” Ogbogu adds. That will loosen the allergens from the inside of your eyes and help to flush them out.
- Apply a cold compress. “Cold compresses around the eyes can be helpful with itching and swelling,” says Ogbogu. Soak a towel or washcloth in cold water or refrigerate a damp cloth or eye pillow. Then lie down with the compress across your eyes to let the coolness reduce swelling.
- Try allergy eye drops. Ogbogu suggests trying an over-the-counter eye drop made to soothe itchy, swollen eyes caused by allergies. Jones’ ophthalmologist prescribed an antihistamine eye drop which along with her other allergy treatments, soothes her eyes.
- Take oral medications or get allergy shots. Ogbogu says that over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications, including antihistamines, can provide some relief for milder allergy symptoms, including swollen eyes. Along with her eye drops, Jones receives twice-weekly allergy shots and takes several allergy medications to keep her allergy symptoms under control.
- Stay indoors. “Weather conditions play a role,” says Ogbogu. A breezy day with lots of pollen in the air can keep you from soothing swollen eyes because of continued exposure to allergens. On days when outdoor allergens are high, stay inside — and save outdoor activities for just after a rain, when fewer allergens fill the air.
But if the following occur, you should call your doctor immediately:
- Feeling like there’s something stuck in your eye
- Pain in the eye
- Blurry vision
- Decreased vision
Ogbogu says even these do-it-yourself and home remedies aren’t always a good choice. “If you have intense redness that’s not leaving, you need to go see your doctor.”
How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes
Is it impossible for you to wake up bright-eyed and bushy tailed? Maybe you’re a new mom and getting eight hours of sleep is a mere dream. Perhaps you arise before the birds every day for a long commute. Or maybe you’ve been crying while watching a sappy movie.
Whatever the case, you’re suffering from puffy eyes. It isn’t a pretty sight. You wish you could just wear a face mask all day. You need help—fast!
Here are some simple tricks to help you banish those puffy eyes and fake your way to perfect-looking peepers. We promise you’ll look like a well-rested woman, even if you’ve barely hit the pillow. (Always consult your health care provider before starting any medical treatment.)
- Try some tea. Soak two caffeinated tea bags in warm water. Chill this mild diuretic for a few minutes in the fridge. Put one bag on each eye for five minutes to leave eyes feeling refreshed. The tea’s caffeine helps constrict the eye’s blood vessels, reducing your puffy eyes.
- Apply hemorrhoid cream. It tightens puffy areas quickly and reduces wrinkles, too. Bothered by its strong smell? Before applying it, mix in some of your moisturizer to lessen the odor. Just be sure not to get it in your eyes; otherwise, you risk irritation or an allergic reaction.
- Slice some cucumber. Hit the produce aisle for brighter eyes and a refreshed feeling all over. Cut a few slices of cold cucumbers; they contain antioxidants that help reduce irritation. Lie down. For 30 minutes, place a slice over each eye. The coolness will help soothe puffiness.
- Hit the spoons. The sharp cold of metal helps revive tired eyes and hike your energy to boot. Grab two clean metal teaspoons. Hold them for a few minutes under very cold running water. Lie down. For 30 to 60 seconds, put the bowls of the spoons over your eyelids; the spoons will fit perfectly against your eye sockets.
- Snag your baby’s teething rings. You read that right! This baby pain soother can help invigorate you and decrease eye puffiness. Place two gel-filled teething rings in the freezer. Keep them there until they’re ice cold. Lie down. For about 10 minutes, put the rings on your closed eyelids.
- Cut back on sugar. When you eat sugar, you’re triggering inflammation all over your body. Since the skin under the eye is prone to swelling and it’s thin, you’re seeing that inflammation there. Try to cut as much sugar as possible from your diet and you’ll notice an immediate improvement.
- Rub your eyes. Short on time? Run your fingers under very cold water or put them on some ice cubes. Start at the inner corners of your eyes and press down on the skin until you get to the outer eye corners. Repeat. This process helps drain fluid that’s beneath your eyes.
- Say goodbye to hairspray. The tiny aerosol particles are known to get on eyelids and irritate the skin in the area. Try to avoid using it if possible. Can’t give it up? Wash your face after you spray to help eliminate some of the particles. Also, proceed carefully when using other sprays like deodorants, room fresheners and body mists (especially if you’re sensitive to dust, pollen and pets).
- Smooth on eye cream. The right eye cream can help banish puffiness. Look for ones with anti-inflammatory ingredients that can improve circulation. Find formulas with glycerin, vitamin C and shea butter.
- Swap face cleansers. Facial cleaners can leave behind residue that can get trapped in the folds of the eyelids. And that can cause puffiness around the eyes. Consider switching to a hypoallergenic variety.
- Put on a potato. Did you know that potatoes can help alleviate eye puffiness? Potatoes contain a skin-lightening enzyme that can help relieve swelling. Grate two tablespoons of raw potato. Place it into two empty tea bags (to keep things clean) and put one over each eye.
- Find relief in the freezer. In a pinch? Grab an ice cube to help shrink swollen blood vessels. The ice’s coolness will perk up your eyes and leave your face looking awake and alert.
- Hydrate. Dehydration can cause eye puffiness. Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. And speaking of beverages, limit alcohol, which can make you dehydrated.
- Prop up a pillow. Keep your head propped above your heart using a few firm pillows. When you elevate, you’ll increase circulation and prevent extra fluid from settling around your eyes.
- Watch your salt. Salt makes you retain fluid. And that makes you bloated everywhere, especially near the eyes, where there’s little room for the fluid to disperse. Lower your salt intake by avoiding high-sodium items like prepackaged soups, pizza and potato chips.
- Make a cool compress. Rest a cool washcloth on your eyelids for about 10 minutes. It can help drain excess fluid from beneath your eyes. Or wrap a bag of frozen veggies in a towel; put it over your eyes for 10 minutes to help reduce fluid buildup.
- Address allergies. Do you have allergies seasonally or year-round? They can cause puffiness. Allergies can make you rub your eyes more, and they get even puffier. Speak with your health care provider to help devise the right treatment plan.
How to Get Rid of Swollen & Puffy Eyes
Puffy eyes are a situation in which the eyes begin swelling. The skin around the eyes is very thin and is very sensitive.
Usually puffy eyes will resolve on their own, or after basic home treatments. But puffy eyes are also symptoms of other eye conditions that may require examination by an eye-care professional.
If your puffy eyes are severe and persistent or are accompanied by additional symptoms, an optometrist should be contacted about the problem.
Why Are My Eyes Puffy?
Puffy or swollen eyes can be caused by fluid retention, stress, allergies, hormone changes, and other factors. Crying is often accompanied by swollen eyes because the tiny glands in the eyelids that produce tears become inflamed from overactivity.
Other times we get puffy eyes after sleeping. This can be caused by too much sodium in the diet, which causes water retention. Puffy eyes can also be caused by lack of sleep or excessive alcohol intake. Additional causes of puffy eyes include:
- Normal aging process
- Skin disorders such as dermatitis
- Dysfunction of tear glands
- Nephritic syndrome; puffy eyes may be the first sign of this condition
- Contact lenses
- Eye infections
Who Gets Puffy Eyes?
Puffiness under the eyes is a common symptom of allergies, lack of sleep, stress, and poor diet. Eyes will become puffy when the skin around the eyes becomes irritated and itchy. People who consume large amounts of alcohol and sodium before bed may wake up with puffy eyes due to water retention.
Stress may cause your skin and eyes, as well as other parts of the body, to weaken and become susceptible to problems such as swelling.
Other times, puffy eyes are a symptom of an eye condition such as blepharitis, which is inflammation of the eyelids and base of the eyelashes. Most of the possible causes are discussed in this article.
Which Symptoms Are Associated With Puffy Eyes?
Additional symptoms that may be present when the eyes are swollen or inflamed include:
- Blurry vision
- Redness on or around the eye
- Eye discharge
- Eye pain
- Itching or burning sensation
- Difficulty seeing; double vision; vision changes
- Feeling of foreign body in eye
More serious symptoms include:
- Facial and/or neck swelling
- Severe headaches
- General ill feeling (nausea, vomiting)
- Difficulty breathing
What Are The Treatments and Home Remedies for Puffy Eyes?
For normal puffy eyes that are not caused by other eye conditions, there are many ways to reduce the swelling. The following is a list of ways to treat puffy eyes:
- Wash face with ice cold water
- Ice or cold packs
- Limit sodium intake
- Increase vitamin and mineral intake
- Drink plenty of water to clean out your system
- If puffy eyes are caused by allergies, discontinue using the item that causes the allergic reaction; doctors may also provide shots or prescribe medication
- Cream for puffy eyes: Try a soothing eye cream with aloe and Vitamin E; also look into certain products such as Revitalume and Swanson Creams Vitamin K cream
- Eye masks to apply mild pressure to the eyelids at night
You may have noticed that common cucumber and tea bag treatment methods are not mentioned here. This is because these items are not recommended by eye care professionals. Cucumbers are over 90 percent water, and the rest is mainly inert fiber.
Although cucumbers do reduce puffy eyes, it is the coldness of the cucumber that does the trick, not the cucumber itself. Coldness is known to constrict blood vessels, which reduces the flow of fluid into soft tissues.
Eye care professionals recommend using a washcloth dipped in cold water, which has the same effect. The reason cucumbers are not recommended is that food sometimes contains bacteria. Putting a possible bacteria source directly onto the eyes can lead to eye infections. The same is true of tea bags.
Many people wonder if hemorrhoid cream is safe and effective for reducing puffy eyes. The truth is hemorrhoid cream contains ingredients that constrict the blood vessels, which can reduce swelling and puffiness temporarily.
Hemorrhoid cream may do more harm than good, however, especially when used on the sensitive skin around the eyes or eyelids. Some hemorrhoid creams contain steroids, which can cause or worsen cataracts and glaucoma if used near the eyes. The eyes may also become irritated after using such creams.
If your puffy eyes are due to an underlying eye condition, talk with your eye care professional about possible treatments to help reduce and prevent their occurrence.
Someone suffering from severe allergies may benefit from prescription-strength antihistamines, while someone suffering from a skin disorder that is affecting the skin around the eyes may benefit from topical creams.
Persons who suffer from diseases such as hypothyroidism may benefit from a daily dose of levothyroxine (synthetic thyroid hormone). Again, talk with your doctor about possible causes and treatments for puffy eyes.
Keeping your head elevated will also reduce the swelling around your eyes. Try not to lie down or keep your head in a position that increases blood flow to your eyes.
Also, avoid rubbing your eyes, which will only cause the swelling to worsen. For persistent eye swelling, seek help from a medical professional. Typically, treating the underlying condition will reduce swelling in the eye.
When Should I Seek Medical Attention For My Puffy Eyes?
Eye swelling can be a sign of a serious problem. When the swelling is persistent, medical attention should be sought. Any time you receive a blow to the eye you should seek medical attention, even if there is no swelling. Seek medical attention immediately if the following symptoms accompany the eye swelling:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling in face and neck areas
- Redness around the eye
Some of the above are symptoms of orbital cellulitis. Although orbital cellulitis is not as common a disease as conjunctivitis, it does have devastating effects. When left untreated, it can lead to very serious complications such as a blood infection or meningitis.
If you are unable to drive yourself to the doctor, ask a relative or friend. If one is not available and you feel this is an emergency, call 911. Never attempt to drive yourself when you are experiencing vision problems.
How Can I Prevent My Eyes From Becoming Puffy?
There are several things you can do to prevent your eyes from becoming puffy. Tips to avoid puffy eyes include:
- Avoiding rubbing your eyes; apply cold compresses when itching occurs
- Avoid irritants such as smoke
- Avoid allergens when possible
- Drink plenty of water to avoid water retention and to keep your body cleansed
- Do not use cucumbers, tea bags, or other foods to reduce puffy eyes; foods contain bacteria that may cause an infection
- Increase your vitamin intake
- Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, especially before bed
- Avoid or limit sodium (salt) when possible
- Talk with your eye doctor about avoiding puffy eyes altogether
As mentioned above, vitamins can play a major role in your eyes’ overall health. Healthy eyes are usually resistant to such problems, and vitamins can help improve the condition of the skin, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels in and around the eyes.
Use this chart to monitor your daily vitamin intake. Talk with your eye care professional or health care provider before increasing or decreasing your daily dosage of vitamins.
|Vitamin||Recommended Dose||Benefit to Eyes||Common Sources|
|Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene)||0–4 yrs old 500 IU per day; 4–12 yrs old 1,000 IU per day; 2,300 IU for women and 3,000 IU for men per day||Prevents night blindness; critical in function of eye; known to treat eye disorders such as pink eye, glaucoma, & dry eye syndrome||Apricots; cantaloupes; carrots; pumpkins; spinach; broccoli|
|Vitamin B-Complex||Depends on type of B vitamin; see below||Maintains health of skin and nerves in and around eyes||Brewer’s yeast; whole grain cereal; liver|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||1.6 mg for adult males per day; 1.2 mg for adult females per day; 1.5 mg to 1.7 mg for pregnant or lactating women||Prevents itchy eyes, which can cause puffiness; helps to maintain good vision||Fish; egg yolks; brewer’s yeast; liver; whole grain cereal|
|Vitamin B6||Based on protein intake: 2 mg for every 100 g of protein per day for adults; 0.6–1.2 mg for every 100 g of protein per day for children||Balances sodium and potassium, which may reduce puffiness and bloating throughout body||Meats and whole grains; desiccated liver; brewer’s yeast|
|Vitamin B12||Infants: 3 mcg per day; children: 1–2 mcg per day; adults- 3 mcg per day; pregnant or lactating women: 4 mcg daily||Injections of this vitamin can benefit those suffering from vision loss due to tobacco poisoning; decreases risk of dry macular degeneration||Liver; muscle meats; fish; kidney; dairy products|
|Vitamin C||Depends on factors such as one’s weight, activity level, metabolism, age, and ailments: 2,300 to 9,000 mg per day||Maintains body’s collagen; reduces effects of certain allergens that may cause puffy eyes||Fresh fruits and vegetables; citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons; rose hips; green peppers; acerola cherries|
|Vitamin D||Depends on factors such as one’s exposure to UV light: 400 to 2,000 IU per day||Reduces risk of nearsightedness, pink eye, keratoconus, and cataracts; strengths bones within body; improves skin||Sunlight; limited amounts of fortified foods; fish; fish liver oils|
|Vitamin E||300–400 IU per day; talk with eye care professional about your individual needs||Reduces effects of nearsightedness; improves function of muscles, blood vessels, skin, and nerves around eyes||Wheat germ oil; whole raw seeds and nuts; cold-pressed vegetable oils; soybeans|
|Vitamin K||90 mcg per day for adult women; 120 mcg per day for adult men; 10–20 mcg per day for infants; 15–100 mcg per day for children and teens||Regulates blood clotting; used in creams to reduce puffy and aging eyes||Spinach; swiss chard; kale; broccoli; avocado; grapes; kiwi; soybean|
The most important steps you can take to prevent further swelling are not to rub your eyes and to seek medical attention if your condition is severe. Your doctor can prescribe you medicine that will reduce the swelling almost immediately.
Your doctor can also determine whether the swelling is being caused by a more serious problem. If you suffer from allergies, try to take precautions while indoors: keep air filters and air ducts clean, and vacuum often to remove dust and dander.
Outdoor precautions can include wearing face masks, especially when doing yard work during the spring and fall seasons. You can also ask your doctor to prescribe you antihistamine and decongestant medications to minimize the effects of allergy season.
Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water will also reduce swollen eyes. Too much salt in one’s diet can cause the eyes—and other parts of the body—to swell. Learn more about healthy eyes and eye vitamins.
Talking to Your Eye Doctor
Here are some questions to ask your eye care professional about puffy eyes:
- Which home remedies are safe for me to get rid of my puffy eyes?
- Based on my health, which vitamins should I be taking daily?
- What are my treatment options?
- Which additional symptoms should I watch for that may indicate my puffy eyes are a sign of something serious?
- How long should I wait to contact you if I have puffy eyes?
- What can I do at work to better protect my eyes?
- What other symptoms should I watch for?
- Which over-the-counter products should I stay away from? Why?
Did you know… an increase in antioxidants at the beginning of allergy season can prevent most allergy-related symptoms?
How to get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles
By Marilyn Haddrill; contributions and review by Charles Slonim, MD
Puffy eyes and dark circles under the eyes occur for many reasons, including inherited facial features, allergies, stress, eye fatigue and individual skin characteristics such as texture.
While certain home remedies such as soothing cucumber slices — or even anti-hemorrhoid creams such as Preparation H — may temporarily relieve puffy eyes, a more long-lasting solution depends on the underlying cause.
What causes puffy eyes and dark circles under eyes?
Swelling around the eyes is caused by an excessive accumulation of fluids (edema) in the surrounding skin tissue. Because the skin around the eyes is very thin, swelling and discoloration can be quite prominent.
But why does fluid accumulate to form puffy eyes in the first place?
Puffy eyes generally result from a variety of factors, including:
- Overconsumption of salt, which causes fluid retention
- Allergies that can cause inflammation and swelling
- Sinus problems
- Fatigue and lack of sleep
- Inherited facial features
Unfortunately, many people have puffy eyes simply because this trait runs in their family.
With aging, eye puffiness can be caused in part when fatty tissue that ordinarily protects the eye inside the bony eye socket begins to push forward and fill in spaces below the eye.
This happens because aging processes cause thinning of the membrane or “septum” that ordinarily holds back fat in both the upper and lower eyelids. As the membrane thins, the fat herniates and pushes forward, causing puffy eyes and dark circles and bags under the eyes.
Why do I have puffy eyes when I wake up?
When we’re sleeping, we don’t blink. And this is part of the reason why eye puffiness develops.
Dark circles can form under the eyes from stress or lack of sleep.
Blinking for eyelids is like walking for legs. When idle, some people develop swelling in their lower extremities that goes away as soon as they start walking and muscles in the legs begin “milking” the trapped fluids (edema), which are absorbed back into circulation.
A similar action takes place in the eyelids.
The closed, non-blinking eyelids during sleep potentially can swell in certain people prone to this problem. So in the mornings, you could wake up with unusually puffy, swollen eyelids. When you wake up and start blinking, some of the puffiness gradually goes away.
Do puffy eyes mean I have a medical condition?
When swollen eyelids occur suddenly, it might be a sign you have an underlying medical problem.
For example, people with thyroid eye disease can develop swelling of tissue and muscles around their eyes. Also, bulging eyes can signal a thyroid disorder known as Graves’ disease.
Eye allergies also can cause swollen eyes. Other types of allergies, such as reactions to certain foods or chemicals, can cause swollen eyelids as well.
During an allergic reaction, certain cells in the body release a chemical called histamine. This can cause fluid to leak from blood vessels, resulting in edema and puffiness in surrounding tissues, including around the eyes.
Puffy, swollen eyelids and dark circles under the eyes can occur when you have an eye infection such as pink eye. In some cases, inflammation from dry eye syndrome also can cause puffy eyes.
Kidney failure and other systemic diseases can cause swelling throughout the body, including around the eyes.
What can be done about puffy eyes and dark circles?
To find the best solution for puffy eyes and dark circles, it’s important to identify the underlying cause.
If you have the same puffy appearance around your eyes as your mother or father, it’s probably an inherited trait. In this case, you might want to consider cosmetic eyelid surgery to get rid of the puffiness.
Puffy eyes due to aging also can be eliminated with cosmetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty).
You might want to discuss with your eye doctor or cosmetic surgeon some of the other procedures available to lessen the appearance of puffy eyes and dark circles under the eyes. These include chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing.
Many temporary remedies also can help reduce the swollen look around eyes, such as:
- Using eye drops for irritation caused by allergies, if appropriate
- Drinking ample fluid to prevent dehydration
- Applying iced compresses when your lids are swollen
- Applying cucumber slices or chilled tea bags over closed eyes
- Using creams and other skin products specially formulated for use around the eyes
- Reducing salt in your diet
- Eating potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, to eliminate excess fluids in your body
- Splashing cold water over your face and eyes
- Getting plenty of sleep
One of the most common home remedies for puffy eyes, as mentioned above, is use of hemorrhoid creams and ointments on the skin around your eyes. A common active ingredient in these preparations is phenylephrine, which is a medication that constricts blood vessels.
This can have a potential dual effect on puffy eyelids and dark circles under the eyes. Constricting blood vessels may reduce the potential for leakage of fluid that causes puffiness. And if the dark circles under your eyes are caused by dilated blood vessels under the skin below your eyes, shrinking these blood vessels may reduce the darkness.
Be aware that there are risks associated with using hemorrhoid creams for puffy eyes and dark circles. If you accidentally get these products in your eyes, you can experience a severe inflammatory response known as chemical conjunctivitis.
Before trying hemorrhoid cream or other home remedies for puffy eyes, ask your eye doctor for advice about other treatment options that are safe and more effective.
NEED AN EYE EXAM? Find an eye doctor near you.
Page updated July 2019
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Swollen Eyelids? Causes & How to Fix Them (Fast)
At some point, nearly everyone experiences swollen eyelids from allergies, irritation, inflammation, or infections. (Learn More) It is important to know the symptoms so you know how to manage the problem, but treatment can begin at home for the first day or two.
Puffy eyes are often mistaken for swollen eyes, but puffiness can occur for several reasons. (Learn More) Common causes of swollen eyes, not puffy eyes, start with allergies, but include serious infections that need medical treatment. (Learn More) Less common causes of swollen or inflamed eyes are often chronic conditions that require medications and ongoing doctors’ appointments. (Learn More)
The health of your eyes is closely associated with the health of the rest of your body, so understanding swollen eyelids can help you get the treatment you need. (Learn More)
What Causes Swollen Eyelids?
Swelling on eyelids can have several potential causes, which may have other symptoms, depending on how serious the condition is. By themselves, swollen eyelids may be a temporary condition. They can feel uncomfortable or irritating, but they will go away on their own.
Your eyelids may swell when there is inflamed tissue or excessive fluid (edema) around the connective tissues of the eye near the eyeball. The experience may be painful, hot, itchy, or uncomfortable, or it may simply look odd.
Aside from enlarged tissues around your eyes and difficulty moving your eyelids, symptoms associated with swollen eyes include:
- Itching or scratchy sensations in or around your eyes.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Watery eyes.
- Redness in the whites of the eyes.
- Obstructed vision.
- Redness on the skin of the eyelid.
- Discharge from the eye.
- Dryness or flaking skin on or around the eyelid.
- Pain or feeling hot (symptoms of infection).
The Difference Between Puffy and Swollen Eyelids
Many people may develop “puffy” eyes and think, at first, that their eyelids are swollen. There are some differences between puffy and swollen that are important to keep in mind, however.
Puffy eyes may be inherited, caused by a lack of sleep, or due to crying. Stress, fatigue, and allergies may all contribute to puffy eyes, which can obstruct your vision and become uncomfortable. Puffy eyes typically do not have other symptoms associated with them, however, and they can be safely treated at home.
You may go for a “spa treatment” and place cucumber slices over your eyes; you may use a small amount of Preparation H to reduce swelling; or you could take an antihistamine, which will reduce inflammation all over your body. These at-home treatments for puffiness are safe and effective in the short term.
There are many common causes of puffy eyes.
- Eating too much salt, leading to fluid retention
- Allergies that lead to inflammation
- Irritation around the eyes from cosmetics
- Sinus problems or infection
- Inherited factors
Puffiness typically goes away on its own and does not have other symptoms associated with it. Swelling in the eyelids, however, can indicate a different underlying condition or a more serious problem with your health.
Understanding the different potential causes of swollen eyes, and the symptoms associated with them, can help you determine when to see a doctor for medical treatment.
Common Causes of Swollen Eyelids
Nearly everyone experiences swollen eyelids at some point in their lives, typically from irritation, infection, or allergies. However, there are other common conditions that may be more serious, which require an eye exam for an appropriate diagnosis rather than home treatment.
- Contact allergy: Getting a particle of dust, pollen, or pet dander in your eye can cause a small amount of irritation, which may lead to swelling. If you do not have an overall allergic reaction, swelling and itching will go away on their own. You may benefit from taking an antihistamine to control the inflammation.If swelling does not go away on its own after one or two days, see a doctor. Some of the tissues in or around your eye may have an infection.
- Widespread allergy: If you struggle with allergies to plants, animals, or dust, you may frequently develop puffy, swollen, red, watery, itchy, or dry eyes. Antihistamines or anti-inflammatory medications can reduce some of these symptoms. If you have severe allergies, working with a doctor to manage prescription medications will reduce eye swelling since it is a symptom of your allergies.
- Eye irritation: Getting a particle of makeup or dirt in your eye can temporarily irritate your orbital socket and cause a small amount of puffiness or swelling. Remove contact lenses if you are wearing them, and gently wash your eye out with water or eye drops. Do not put contact lenses back in until swelling has gone away.
- Blepharitis: This may be an infection of the tissues around the eye, or it could be associated with the herpes simplex virus. Along with eyelid swelling, you may notice yellow crust along the eyelashes, itching or burning eyes, redness, and sores. This typically affects both eyes at the same time. A doctor’s examination can determine if blepharitis is causing your symptoms and begin your treatment.
- Chalazion: This is the enlargement of an oil gland inside your eyelid, and it typically affects only one eye at a time. You will develop an enlarged, red, sore area that will look like a small mound. Pain will go away first, followed by decreased swelling. A doctor’s examination is required for treatment because it will not go away on its own.
- Conjunctivitis: More commonly known as pink eye, this is an infection characterized by redness, discharge, and sometimes crust on the eyelashes. It can affect one or both eyes, and it may look like an allergic reaction at first. Symptoms will get worse, not better, so see a doctor for medicated eye drops and stop wearing your contact lenses immediately.
- Stye: The medical term for a stye is hordeolum, and this typically is a red, inflamed, painful area in one eyelid. Eventually, the swelling will even out, sometimes with small, raised, pus-filled bumps. Visit a doctor for treatment recommendations if it doesn’t clear in a couple days.
- Insect bite: Itching, redness, and a small bump suggest you may have been bitten by a bug or insect, but a doctor will be able to accurately distinguish between an insect bite and other potential causes of eyelid swelling.
Less Common Medical Conditions Associated With Swollen Eyelids
There are several medical conditions that involve swollen eyelids as one symptom. Treatment specifically for this swelling may be home-based, but treating the underlying medical condition is crucial.
- Shingles: This is the same virus that causes chicken pox, which lies dormant after the initial infection but may become active again in adulthood. The most common symptoms are skin rash and pain, particularly along the sides or flanks of the body. In rare cases, you may develop a rash around the face, which can cause swelling in or around your eyelids.
- Orbital cellulitis: Tissue infection in or around the eye socket can present as eyelid swelling. This will be accompanied with redness, pain in the eyeball, and bulging eyes. It will start in one eye and spread to the other.
- Preseptal/periorbital cellulitis: Like orbital cellulitis, this is an infection of skin tissue, but it occurs around the outside of the eye rather than the interior tissues. This may be accompanied by pain and fever.
- Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid gland mostly causes fatigue and weight changes, but puffy or swollen eyes may be one of several symptoms that your body is not managing hormone production. This requires a doctor’s diagnosis to begin treatment.
- Graves’ disease: The opposite of hypothyroidism, this condition involves an overactive thyroid gland caused by an immune problem. Bulging eyes, double vision, anxiety, weight loss, and rapid heartbeat are all symptoms of Graves’ disease, which can only be diagnosed by a medical professional.
- Systemic disorders (preeclampsia, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and liver failure): Edema, or fluid retention, is a symptom of many diseases that affect the whole body. The eyes are one of several areas where you may notice unusual swelling.
Get Help From Medical Professionals for Serious Issues With Swollen Eyelids
The health of your eyes reflects your overall physical health. When a saline solution, warm or cold compress, or anti-inflammatory drugs do not treat puffy or swollen eyelids, or the condition is accompanied by a rash, fever, serious itching, redness, or discharge, you should see a doctor.
Infections and inflammation can lead to damage to your eyes and even cause blindness when untreated. Often, swelling that does not go away indicates an underlying medical condition that requires more intensive treatment.
Swollen Eyelids: Causes and Treatment. (August 2017). All About Vision.
Some Causes and Features of Eyelid Swelling. Merck Manual, Consumer Version.
How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles. (February 2018). All About Vision.
Twelve Causes and Treatments of a Swollen Eyelid. (July 4, 2017). Medical News Today.
Top Causes of Swollen Eyelids. (December 1, 2018). Verywell Health.
Swollen Eyelid: Causes, Treatment, and More
If your eyelids are painful or tender to the touch, the cause is likely an infection, cyst, or stye. It’s important to determine the cause of your swollen eyelid, as treatment options depend on what caused it.
If your upper or lower eyelid is swollen, it could be from a cyst or chalazion. A chalazion typically swells in the middle portion of the lid. These cysts can take a few weeks to clear and some develop into a hard bump.
Treatment: For relief, hold a wet heated cloth over your eye. The warmth can help with oil secretion and blockage. You can do this four to five times a day. If the cyst continues to linger, see your doctor. They can help drain it for you.
A stye forms due to a minor infection at the base of the eyelid near the eyelash. It can be internal or external, but it often shows as a well-defined red bump. Once the pus is released from the stye, generally your eye will get better.
Treatment: You can use a warm compress to bring relief and promote healing. It usually takes a few weeks before it clears up. Avoid using makeup while you have a stye, as this can cause reinfection.
Keep reading: How to treat a stye “
Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
Pink eye is due to a bacterial, viral, or allergic infection that causes inflammation on the surface of your eye. It can start from one eye and spread to both. Often pus or a sticky coating will appear visible on the eyelashes and in the corners of the eyes.
Treatment: You can clean the sticky and crusty eyelids with warm water and cotton. The eye may get better on its own without treatment. During this time, avoid touching your eyes and keep your pillowcases clean. You’ll also want to stop using eye cosmetics and contact lenses.
What to do if it’s an infection
An infection in the skin is called cellulitis. The skin around your eye will become red and may hurt. You will need antibiotics to relieve this swelling. Cellulitis usually affects the legs but can occur anywhere.
Symptoms that indicate the need for emergency treatment include:
- high temperature
- vision changes or double vision
- unable to move the eye
Read more: What types of eyelid bumps are there? “
Eye – Allergy
Is this your child’s symptom?
- An allergic reaction of the eyes, usually from pollen
- The eyes are itchy and watery
Symptoms of Eye Allergies
- Itchy eyes (sometimes feels like burning or stinging)
- Increased tearing (watery eyes)
- Red or pink eyes
- Mild swelling of the eyelids
- No discharge or a sticky, stringy, mucus discharge
- No pain or fever
Triggers of Eye Allergies
- Cause. An allergic reaction of the eyes to allergic substance. The medical name for this is allergic conjunctivitis. The allergic substance is called an allergen. Most allergens float in the air. That’s how they get in the eyes. Here are the common ones:
- Pollens. Trees, grass, weeds and molds are the most common pollens. Tree pollens come in the spring. Grass pollens come in the summer. Weed pollens come in the fall. Pollens cause seasonal allergies. You can’t avoid pollens because they are in the air. Most eye allergies continue through the pollen season. They can last 4 to 8 weeks. Pollens cause seasonal eye allergies.
- Pets. Allergens can also be from cats, dogs, horses, rabbits and other animals. Pet allergens are in the air. They can also get in the eyes from the hands. Most people don’t keep a pet that they are allergic to. They only have sporadic allergy symptoms when they are exposed to a pet. These symptoms usually last a few hours. If you own the pet, your child will have symptoms all the time.
- House Dust. House dust contains many allergens. It always contains dust mites. If your humidity is high, it will contain mold. If someone with a cat visits you, they will bring cat dander with them. House dust causes year round, daily symptoms. The medical name for this is perennial eye allergies.
When to Call for Eye – Allergy
Call Doctor Within 24 Hours
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Sacs of clear fluid (blisters) on whites of eyes
- Eyelids are swollen shut (or almost shut)
- Discharge on eyelids that does not go away with allergy medicines
Call Doctor During Office Hours
- Eyes are very itchy after taking allergy medicines for more than 2 days
- Diagnosis of eye allergy never made by a doctor
- You have other questions or concerns
Self Care at Home
- Mild eye allergy
Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
Care Advice for Eye Allergy
- What You Should Know About Eye Allergies:
- An eye allergy most often is caused by pollen that gets in the eye.
- The eyes can itch, burn or sting.
- All of these symptoms can go away with allergy eye drops.
- Eye allergies are common. They occur in 10% of children.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Wash Allergens Off the Face:
- Use a wet washcloth to clean off the eyelids and face.
- Rinse the eyes with a small amount of warm water. Tears will do the rest.
- Then put a cold wet washcloth on the itchy eye.
- Prevention: Wash the hair every night because it collects lots of pollen.
- Oral Allergy Medicines:
- If the nose is also itchy and runny, your child probably has hay fever. Hay fever is allergic symptoms of both the nose and eyes.
- Give your child an allergy medicine by mouth. This should get rid of the nose and the eye symptoms. Most often, eye drops will not be needed.
- A short-acting allergy medicine (such as Benadryl) may be helpful. No prescription is needed. They need to be given every 6 to 8 hours. The bedtime dosage is especially helpful for healing the lining of the nose.
- Long-acting allergy medicines (such as Zyrtec) can also be used. Again, no prescription is needed. This kind of medicine has 2 advantages over Benadryl. They cause less sedation and last up to 24 hours.
- Give allergy medicine every day. Do this until pollen season is over (about 2 months for each pollen).
- Antihistamine Eye Drops (Ketotifen) for Pollen Allergies – 1st Choice:
- Usually, an oral allergy medicine will control the allergic symptoms of the eye.
- If the eyes remain itchy and poorly controlled, buy some Ketotifen antihistamine eye drops. Ask your pharmacist to suggest a brand (such as Zaditor). No prescription is needed.
- Age: Approved for 3 years and older.
- Dose: 1 drop every 12 hours in both eyes.
- For severe allergies, the use of ketotifen eye drops every day will help the most. Use these eye drops until pollen season is over.
- Older Antihistamine/Vasoconstrictor Eye Drops – 2nd Choice:
- Often, the eyes will feel much better after the allergic substance is washed out. Also, putting a cold wet washcloth on them usually makes the eyes feel better.
- If not, this type of eye drop can be used for added relief. Ask your pharmacist to suggest a brand (such as Visine-A). The A stands for antihistamine. No prescription is needed.
- Avoid vasoconstrictor eyedrops without an allergy medicine in them. These are eye drops without an A in the name, such as plain Visine. Reason: They only treat the redness, not the cause.
- Dose: 1 drop every 8 hours as needed.
- Do not use for over 5 days. (Reason: Will cause red eyes from rebound effect)
- Downside: Doesn’t work as well as Ketotifen eye drops.
- Eye Drops: How to Use
- For a cooperative child, gently pull down on the lower lid. Put 1 drop inside the lower lid. Then ask your child to close the eye for 2 minutes. Reason: So the medicine will get into the tissues.
- For a child who won’t open his eye, have him lie down. Put 1 drop over the inner corner of the eye. If your child opens the eye or blinks, the eye drop will flow in. If he doesn’t open the eye, the drop will slowly seep into the eye.
- Contact Lenses:
- Children who wear contact lenses need to switch to glasses for a while.
- This will help the eye heal faster.
- What to Expect:
- If you know the cause of the allergy symptoms, try to avoid it. This is the case with animal allergies. The symptoms will not come back if there is no contact.
- But, you can’t avoid pollens because they are in the air. Most eye allergies continue through the pollen season. They can last 4 to 8 weeks.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Itchy eyes aren’t better in 2 days with allergy treatment
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the ‘Call Your Doctor’ symptoms.
Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
Last Reviewed: 02/01/2020
Last Revised: 03/14/2019
Copyright 2000-2019 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.
Getting Relief for Puffy Eyes
Allergy eyes or “allergic conjunctivitis” can cause puffy, watering eyes, itching, redness, and burning. Eye allergy usually occurs in both eyes in association with nasal allergy symptoms like sneezing and sniffling. In some parts of the United States, eye allergy symptoms may be even more common than nasal allergies.
“Puffy eyes and dark circles around the eyes are caused from nasal and sinus congestion interfering with blood flow through the veins around the eyes,” explains Kris G. McGrath, MD, associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and section chief of allergy and immunology at Saint Joseph Hospital in Chicago.
What Causes Eye Allergies?
An eye allergy is caused when your immune system overreacts to a foreign substance that gets into your eye. Special cells in your eye called mast cells release a protein known as histamine which causes the blood vessels in your eyes and eyelids to swell. Any substance that enters your eye and causes an allergic reaction is called an allergen.
Allergens include pollens, pet dander, dust mites, and molds. Grass pollens and ragweed pollens are especially irritating to allergic eyes. Types of eye allergies include:
- Vernal conjunctivitis. This type of eye allergy occurs every allergy season and is common in children and young adults.
- Hay fever conjunctivitis. This is a severe eye allergy reaction that does not last long and is caused by very high numbers of allergens in the air.
- Other eye allergies. Allergy symptoms in the eyes can also be caused by a reaction to medications, such as an antibiotic eye drop, or an allergic reaction to contact lenses.
Allergy Remedies for Puffy Allergy Eyes
The most important thing to do is try to avoid exposure to eye allergy triggers and to see your doctor. “Treatment involves avoidance and medications to reduce the inflammation in the nose, sinuses, and eyes,” says Dr. McGrath. “Typically topical intra-nasal steroid or antihistamine sprays are used often with an antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer eyedrops; they are most effective beginning two weeks before the pollen arrives.”
There are also some good allergy remedies and strategies you can try on your own to prevent eye allergy symptoms in the first place:
- Wash your hands. One of the most common ways that allergens get into your eyes is from your hands. So be sure to wash your hands frequently and avoid rubbing your eyes.
- Use over-the-counter eye drops. Saline rinses and artificial tears can help rinse allergens out of your eyes. Over-the-counter eye drops that shrink blood vessels and block histamine are also available, but should be used carefully since overuse of these products can actually make your eyes more sensitive and irritated.
- Try cool compresses. A cold washcloth or a bag of frozen vegetables can soothe your puffy eyes, reduce swelling, and relieve itching.
- Close your windows. You can’t always avoid outdoor allergens, but you can keep them from coming inside. Close the windows in your home and your car and use air conditioning during pollen season. Stay inside when pollen counts are high, especially in the morning and evening and when the wind is blowing.
- Wear glasses. Sunglasses or regular prescription glasses can prevent pollen and dust from blowing into your eyes.
If you have eye allergies, it can sometimes be tough to avoid those red, itchy, puffy eyes. Although most of us blink about 15,000 times a day, allergens like dust and pollen can still sneak in and irritate the eyes. Eye allergy symptoms are uncomfortable, but over-the-counter and prescription allergy remedies can help. It’s also important to remember that while eye allergies do lead to irritated, puffy eyes, they usually don’t cause any permanent damage.
Return to the Everyday Health Allergy Awareness Month Package.
How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes From Allergies
If you have allergies, you know it is not unusual for those allergies to affect your eyes. The eyes can become red and itchy, and the skin around the eyes can become puffy. This eyelid swelling, along with other allergy symptoms, can be treated by identifying the cause of the allergic response and limiting exposure 2. Use of cold compresses, eye drops and oral medication may also be helpful.
Mechanism of Swelling
Puffiness of the eye happens when your immune system is exposed to an offending agent, or allergen. The allergen triggers release of histamine, which stimulates nerves around the eye and dilates blood vessels, causing swelling. Histamine release is typically associated with an intense itchy sensation. Treatment of eye puffiness is geared toward limiting exposure to the offending agent, blocking histamine effects or preventing histamine release 2.
Sometimes it is difficult to identify what is causing an allergic response. Keeping a journal documenting your symptoms and what you are exposed to at the time of your symptoms can be helpful for identifying triggers. For example, you may note that your eyes become swollen and itchy when visiting a friend who owns a dog. You may note eye swelling when using a certain nail polish or perfume. Avoiding exposure to allergy triggers is the first step in preventing allergic reactions. Sometimes the cause is not obvious, especially if you suffer from allergies all year or seasonally. Allergy testing and treatment — in addition to avoidance — is often needed with these situations 2.
Applying a cold compress can reduce eye puffiness. Refrigerated artificial tears applied to the eyes a few times daily can also help alleviate eyelid swelling. If these self-help remedies fail, your eye-care professional can recommend other treatments. She may suggest medicated antihistamine eye drops. Steroid eye drops are also commonly used to control allergy symptoms. Most of these medications can be used as needed, meaning only when symptoms flare up.
If allergic symptoms persist, your eye doctor may recommend you also see an allergist, who will run tests to identify all the agents that trigger an allergic response. He will work in conjunction with your eye doctor to reduce or eliminate your allergy symptoms, including those involving your eyes. This may include starting a systemic medication, whether oral or via injections, that blocks histamine release and prevents swelling and itching from starting.
- Puffy eyes are often caused by dehydration, excessive sodium consumption and fatigue.
- Serums and gels that contain active ingredients can de-puff the eyes and prevent future reoccurrences.
- Many DIY methods are also effective in reducing puffiness.
- If your puffy eyes do not improve, or worsen, consult a doctor.
Puffy eyes are the result of fluid retention below the eye. They are usually caused by various lifestyle and environmental factors and commonly occur after late nights or when you’ve consumed too much alcohol or salty food.
When looking for solutions for puffy eyes, you can choose between several ingredients and techniques as well as apply preventative measures to avoid this issue in the future.
Caffeine de-puffs eyes by working as a vasoconstrictor, meaning it narrows blood vessels to reduce extra fluid below the eyes. For this reason, caffeine is an added ingredient in many under-eye products.
In an attempt to achieve this benefit, coffee grounds are sometimes added to DIY face mask recipes. However, this can be risky as coffee grounds are coarse, and may cause abrasion or irritation to sensitive skin.
“Requirements for food grade ingredients are far different from those required for skin care,” explains dermatologist Jeanine B. Downie, MD. “I’ve never recommended my patients use coffee grounds in skin care.”
Peptides, which occur naturally in the body, can be applied topically to promote collagen production. Peptides aren’t a quick fix for puffy eyes, but regular use canincrease skin firmness and thickness. Improved skin quality reduces your susceptibility to puffy eyes—especially if you have become prone to them with age.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) treats a secondary aspect of puffy eyes: dehydrated skin. This acidhelps skin retain its moisture and is a key ingredient in maintaining the overall healthy appearance of the under-eye area.
Daily use of an eye cream, serum or gel containing HA keeps skin moisturized and reduces your likelihood of developing puffy eyes.
Aloe vera can calm redness while reducing inflammation around tired, puffy eyes. Many de-puffing products include aloe vera gel as an ingredient, but you can also use the sap of the plant itself and apply directly to your skin.
Many under-eye products are designed to be applied via a rollerball mechanism. These eye rollers do more than simply deliver ingredients such as peptides or HA: the action of gliding the metal rollerball over the under-eye area massages away fluid while providing a cooling sensation.
Jade rollers, available online and at beauty supply stores, serve a similar purpose: this tool is rolled over the face, massaging excess fluid and draining the lymphatic glands. Use a roller made of jade or rose quartz to experience the cooling feeling of the stone – plastic won’t have the same effect.
However, not all doctors recommend the use of eye rollers for treating puffy eyes. “Eye rollers can easily slip while you’re massaging the area and injure the eye,” says Dr. Downie. “Too much pressure with application could cause bruising or abrasions.”
Those concerned about the possibility of damaging their eye area should avoid eye rollers and try a different treatment method.
Cold Treatments for Your Eyes
Because cold temperatures reduce blood flow, cold applied below the eye can reduce swelling in this area. This is the principle behind several common DIY remedies for puffy eyes.
As a quick de-puffing strategy, cut up a chilled cucumber and place a slice over each eye for a few minutes. Cucumber has antioxidant properties to reduce irritation.
Chill two spoons in the freezer, then hold over the eyes for a few minutes to reduce morning puffiness. If you wake up often with puffy eyes, you may want to keep two spoons in the freezer for an early morning ritual.
The tannins in green tea have astringent properties to shrink blood vessels and tighten the skin below the eyes. Steep two tea bags in boiling water for approximately one minute to release the tannins, let cool in the refrigerator, then place tea bags over the eyes for several minutes to de-puff.
Soak a washcloth in cold water, fold and place over the eyes to calm puffiness. Beauty supply stores also carry eye masks designed to be kept in the freezer for puffy-eye treatment.
If your puffy eyes appear with the first signs of spring, there’s a good chance they are due to allergies. Try over-the-counter antihistamines or consult with a doctor to ensure you’re treating the allergies appropriately.
Some people have eyes that naturally appear puffy regardless of their lifestyle and good skin care habits.
Should this be the case, options exist to correct puffy eyes more permanently. Fillers can smooth out the under-eye area and reduce the appearance of puffiness. Fillers typically last for 6–9 months before being absorbed into the body.
If your puffiness is accompanied by under-eye bags, eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty can serve as a permanent solution. However, surgery is only a viable option for severe cases caused by medical disorders or aging.
Do’s and Don’ts for Puffy Eyes
Do get a good night’s rest every night: the average adult needs 7–9 hours of sleep.
If you wake up with puffy eyes regardless, sleeping with an extra pillow under your head will promote fluid drainage. Alternatively, use bed risers to elevate the headboard feet of your bed.
Do get enough potassium in your diet. Potassium, a mineral found in bananas, leafy greens, and citrus fruits, helps counteract the effects of sodium in the body. Certain medications can also help increase the amount of potassium in the body. “A potassium-sparing diuretic prescription, Spironolactone, could lower sodium and therefore help reduce fluid accumulation,” says Dr. Downie.
Do use a concealer: once you successfully reduce your eye puffiness, there’s a good chance you’ll be sporting dark circles beneath the eye as the two conditions often appear together. A concealer applied below the inner corner of the eye and blended outward will make you look more awake and well-rested.
Don’t use hemorrhoid cream below the eyes. While hemorrhoid cream is a commonly recommended DIY treatment, it’s not safe to use around the eyes and may cause injury. “Phenylephrine, a vasoconstrictor, is one of the active ingredients in Preparation H, and can be a strong irritant,” explains Dr. Downie.
Don’t overindulge in overly salty foods. The recommended sodium intake for adults is 1,500 mg per day, but many people consume far greater amounts. Opt for home-cooked meals using fresh ingredients as often as possible, as they contain much lower levels of sodium than prepackaged foods.
Rarely, puffy eyes can be a sign of a more serious medical condition. If your puffy eyes don’t diminish with treatment and take on a more swollen appearance, or if you experience pain and redness around the eyes, see a doctor. You may have an eye infection or, less commonly, a thyroid disorder.
There are a wide number of solutions available to get rid of puffy eyes and prevent them from reoccurring in the future, from caffeine- and peptide-infused serums to jade rollers and cucumber slices.
For most people, puffy eyes come and go in relation to sleeping habits, diet and alcohol consumption. However, if your eyes are chronically puffy, you may consider surgical or minimally invasive treatment.
If you’re experiencing swelling around eyes accompanied by other symptoms, consult a doctor to ensure your puffy eyes aren’t an indicator of a more serious condition.
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Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles
Ordinary swelling around the eyes is due to an excessive accumulation of fluids in the surrounding skin tissue. Puffy eyes and dark circles can occur for many reasons, and a visit to your eye doctor can usually detect the underlying cause behind your puffy eyes.
The skin around your eyes is the thinnest skin on your body; therefore it shows swelling and discoloration more prominently. There are various factors which can cause puffy eyes, a few of the most common causes include:
- Overconsumption of salt
- Sinus problems
- Fatigue and lack of sleep
- Inherited facial features
Why are my eyes puffy in the morning?
Some individuals may notice their eyes are puffy when they wake up in the morning. Since we don’t blink when we sleep, this allows fluids to settle or get trapped in the skin around the eyes. As soon as you wake up and start blinking this swelling will begin to diminish. Likewise, some individuals develop swelling in their lower extremities while sleeping, which reduces upon walking.
In some situations, puffy eyes can be due to an underlying medical condition. Those with thyroid disease can develop swelling around their eyes. Eye allergies can cause swollen eyelids due to the release of histamine. Additionally, eye infections such as pink eye can cause swelling and puffiness. However, the best way to detect the cause of your puffy eyes is through a comprehensive eye exam by your doctor.
What can be done?
To find the best solution or remedy to your puffy eyes, your eye doctor must first determine the underlying cause. Temporary solutions include eye drops, hydration, iced compresses, cucumber slices, creams, reducing salt in your diet, and getting plenty of rest. In other circumstances, cosmetic solutions may be the only long term way to reduce swollen eyes.
To learn more about your puffy eyes, schedule an appointment with our office. We are here to answer all of your questions and advise you on the best steps to alleviate your puffy eyes.